Monday, September 26, 2016

MOOCHDOCKING AT CAMP TC

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 50 Partly Cloudy High 68) 

We did what is affectionately called 'moochdocking' at a friends place in Albuquerque yesterday. They had a 30amp power cord that we ran so that we could run our air conditioners and we used the onboard water and the water pump. Here we are parked in front of their house, Camp TC.


If you look closely in the above picture you will see Sandra looking out. Here it is up close.


Camp TC was an excellent time. Not only were we only about 5 miles from the Balloon Fiesta but they had set a recording for the Chiefs game in case we were late. During the game we got served queso and salsa and chips. We brought some beer from Wisconsin and they had some local beer. Following the game they combined to whip up an incredible smoked chicken green chile stew. They said they wanted our first meal in Albuquerque to have green chile. All the while we had a great time.

This allowed us to get a real good shot at getting a good spot in the President's Campground at Balloon Fiesta Park. The festivities don't begin until Saturday so we plan to take advantage of the less traffic and do some sightseeing, OK mostly eating out, but that's sightseeing isn't it? 

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, September 25, 2016

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO SANTA ROSA NEW MEXICO

Currently in Santa Rosa NM (Low 50 Windy Currently 55)
Heading to Albuquerque NM (Currently 51 Clouds and Sun High 74) 

We left Amarillo yesterday and headed to Santa Rosa New Mexico. Something bad happened on the Interstate and we got caught in the traffic.



After stop and go traffic on the Interstate for a long time we got detoured to a frontage road for about 7 miles. We finally did arrive safely and are staying at the Santa Rosa Campground. Luckily it was one of our shorter days.


It was approximately 160 miles, this is the route we took.



We were there only 1 night as we continue our trip to Albuquerque today.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, September 24, 2016

RV AND TRUCK INSPECTIONS (BOB'S DAY FROM HELL)

Currently in Amarillo TX (Low 60 A Morning Thunderstorm in The Area Currently 65)
Heading to Santa Rosa NM (Currently 50 Times of Cloud and Sun High 79) 

As fulltime RVers residing in the great state of Texas we sometimes are out of state when we renew our registrations for the Lifestyle and Ford F-350. Safety inspections are part of the registration renewal which we have to complete shortly after reentering the state.

We pulled the Lifestyle and truck into the inspection place in Amarillo yesterday morning. We stayed hooked up and the Lifestyle was inspected with no problems. We unhooked and moved to the truck. The first glimmer of Bob's day from hell starts here. The insurance card Bob had in his wallet did not have an expiration date so Bob called the insurance office and had them fax the information. The fax machine received the first fax signal and died during printing. A second phone call with the same results. A third phone call and an email was sent which thankfully worked.

The truck failed the inspection, bad emergency brake, which the shop we were at couldn't fix until next week. Called the nearest Ford dealership who could get us in at 1:30 p.m. So we went back to the RV park and unhooked and setup the Lifestyle for one more night in Amarillo and had lunch.

Bob was so anxious to get this fixed he gets there 10 minutes early and they take the truck right away which are all good signs so far. Then the hammer drops. A seal is leaking onto the emergency brake pads so no friction and the pads are kinda thin might as well replace them since everything all tore out. Oh and the pads on the truck brakes are also kinda thin and might as well replace those too. Service tech said almost getting a free brake job since all the labor is going into getting to the seals. Brakes are kinda important so Bob says go ahead. The bad news is their time estimate is between 5 and 5:30 p.m. which is after the first inspection places closes and they are not open on Saturday morning.

Bob's day from hell continues with having to pay for the inspection twice. Not planning on 4 plus hours in the service lounge cellphone battery gets dangerously low. Luckily we have a mobile powerstation so Bob retrieved that from the truck but that one also ran down leaving Bob without any connectivity for about an hour.

5p came and the only update Bob could get was that the seal on the both sides were bad. 530p came and was told they were wrapping it up. Bob is now a little worried since they close at 6p.

The time on the credit card receipt was exactly 6p but now the day goes from bad to worse. Bob checks the emergency brake as soon as he gets into the truck and still not working. Luckily the service adviser was still there and showed it to him. Although the place does work on Saturday mornings they are swamped and have the JV brake guy so he wouldn't be much help plus we would probably be there 2-4 hours putting our trip to Santa Rosa today in jeopardy. 

Bob inquired about getting it fixed down the road and the service adviser said to have the Ford service place call him. So after 5 hours the problem brought to the shop still was not fixed although the truck passed inspection.

But the day still has some spunk left in it. Bob tries calling Jo and gets the "this number is no longer in service" message not once but twice, but he can text her so go figure. The GPS on his phone also wasn't working so he navigated to the restaurant by memory. Then after getting diesel then supper takeout and heading back he gets a phone call that when he checks the voicemail later says that Furnace Creek won't be having full hookup sites in Death Valley this fall as they have had electrical problems. Dry camping sites are available but as our loyal readers know, we don't do dry camping. So it looks like Death Valley may be off our list for this year.

Bob has called the service department at an Albuquerque Ford dealership and they are supposed to call back. We leave today for Santa Rosa New Mexico getting ever closer to our visit at the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque and the fun time dealing with the emergency brake.

Sorry no pictures but days from hell don't deserve pictures except for this is what greeted Jo when Bob got home.



Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, September 23, 2016

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO AMARILLO TEXAS

Currently in Amarillo TX (Low 63 Breezy with Sunshine High 87) 

Bob picked up the truck Wednesday afternoon so we took off for Amarillo Texas yesterday. We are staying at the Oasis RV Resort. Luckily we had a reservation because they were turning people away while Bob was checking in.


It was approximately 275 miles, a very long day for us, this is the route we took.



The truck performed admirably so maybe that problem is behind us. Ahead of us today are visits to get the RV and the truck inspected. Since the inspection places don't open on Saturdays we had to get here during the week. That and wanting to get to Albuquerque on Sunday were the deciding factors to have a very long day for us.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, September 22, 2016

CATCHING UP - ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL CHURCH IN THE UP IN SAULT STE. MARIE

Currently in Oklahoma City OK (Low 65 Mostly Sunny Currently 70) 
Heading to Amarillo TX (Currently 62 Mostly Sunny High 88)

Catching up on our recent stay in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan (the Soo). While there we went to Mass at a beautiful church, actually a Pro-Cathedral. The Holy Name of Mary parish has quite a history. It was founded by Father Marquette (yeah that Marquette) in 1668. Only the parishes in St. Augustine Florida and Santa Fe New Mexico are older. The current Pro-Cathedral, the fifth church for the parish was built in 1881 and was the original Cathedral church for the Diocese of Marquette.




The flowers outside



The inside is gorgeous



A closeup of the sanctuary with stained glass and a mural.



Madonna and child



Crucifix



Choir loft



The Upper Peninsula has a lot of beautiful old churches and this is one for sure, especially with the history of the parish. 

The truck was finished yesterday afternoon so we are leaving today and Lord willing and the truck works we are headed to Amarillo Texas.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

WHEN LIFE GIVES US LEMONS - WE EAT OUT (PART ?)

Currently in Oklahoma City OK (Low 70 Partly Sunny and Very Warm High 92) 

When life gives us lemons, like 'Service Engine Soon', we eat out. But as you know we eat out a lot anyway :-)

Bob checked his list and Yelp, etc. and we decided on Ingrid's Kitchen that was on his list. He wishes that he had written down who recommended it to thank them because it was wonderful. We ended up splitting a Reuben and a small order of the weiner schnitzel.



Both were excellent. Also on the list was bread, which was served with the schnitzel and was great, and desserts. We got a fudge maple brownie and pumpkin bread for later, sorry did not take pictures. Take our word for it that they were also good. The best though was a pumpkin cookie that Jo thinks was even better than the Krispy Kreme donuts and that is high praise indeed. We'd like to go back today but we are afraid that we won't be able to control ourselves.

We got a call from the truck service place and the "Service Engine Soon" icon was for a fuel pressure problem that is solved by reprogramming. Should be done later this afternoon, less costly than some of the alternatives we were considering. If that is the case we will continue our trek to Albuquerque tomorrow with a planned stop in Amarillo.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

TRAVELIUS INTERRUPTUS

Currently in Oklahoma City OK (Low 67 Mostly Sunny and Very Warm High 94) 

While we were "planning" on being in Clinton Oklahoma last night and tonight we ended up in Oklahoma City. Why you ask? Our truck is having some issues where we suddenly go into "limp mode" which cuts the power significantly. It is its way of trying to protect itself from a problem we are having. 

This happens only when towing as we had the problem just before the RV Park in Claremore but ran the truck the next three days on errands and no problems. We of course were towing today and went into "limp mode". Bob pulled off the shoulder and turned the ignition on and off a few times and were able to move on down the road. Then it happened again and then this light appeared on the dash.



We got out the manual and found out that meant "Service Engine Soon". Since we were about 15 minutes from Oklahoma City we decided to go at least that far, but no further. After checking for RV Parks we decided on the Twin Fountains RV Park which we have stayed before.



After unhooking Bob tried the Ford dealership and was told at least a week before their diesel guy could take a look. They recommended a company that is also busy but can look at it in a couple of days. Bob took the truck this morning so they could work on it as soon as they are able and to get new shocks. We are renting a car until the truck is fixed. Hopefully we will be able to get to the International Balloon Fiesta early RV parking next Monday.

We'll keep you posted.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, September 19, 2016

THEY HAD US AT PIE

Currently in Claremore OK (Low 63 Mostly Sunny Currently 66)
Heading to Clinton OK (Currently 70 Sunny High 94)

Every once in awhile on the Escapees RV Club forums there is a discussion on the best pie to be had across the country. Hammett House Restaurant in Claremore was mentioned. Along with the pie the food was also said to be good so we decided to go there for lunch. One dish you don't see everywhere is lamb fries, aka Rocky Mountain Oysters. Hammett House also has turkey fries so we got a half order of each with fried okra.


That set the tone for the rest of the meal. We also split an order of chicken livers and fried green tomatoes.


Since everything was fried we were healthy in the choice of "Skinny Soup" (vegetable) and we drank water. Like we said earlier they had us at pie. Here is one of their signature pies, sour cream raisin. Here is Jo sampling the whipped cream topping.


We also got a piece of lemon pecan pie.


All the food was excellent and we would visit there again. Maybe even try some non-fried items. We have enough leftovers for a few meals so we will be having more fried stuff in the near future. We leave Claremore today and head to Clinton Oklahoma but we would like to visit here again if only to eat at Hammett House. 

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, September 18, 2016

AND THEY'RE OFF!!

Currently in Claremore OK (Low 59 Partly Sunny and Humid High 87) 

When we decided to stay at the KOA at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore Oklahoma we had no idea how close we were going to be to the action. It was great to see the horses exercise in the morning. Here is the view from our rear window showing how close we are to the track.


Shortly after we got here a race was starting up so we got closer. We could see the Grandstand.


The starting gate getting ready.


Here are the horses heading for the starting gate.




Getting loaded.


And they're off.


A nice bonus to our stay in Claremore.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, September 17, 2016

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO CLAREMORE OKLAHOMA

Currently in Claremore OK (Low 68 Clearing After Storms High 86) 

After a jam packed two weeks in the Kansas City area visiting friends and family we departed yesterday and headed to Claremore Oklahoma northeast of Tulsa. So for the next few days we are living on "Tulsa Time". We are staying at the Will Rogers Downs KOA.



It was approximately 220 miles, this is the route we took.



But it was not uneventful trip that is for sure. Bob had purchased an Edge Evolution Diesel Programmer which ran great for awhile but then we had a great loss of power. We pulled off to the side and Bob switched back to the original programming. This worked again for a few miles but then about 2 miles from the park it happened again so we pulled off to the side of the road once more. A very nice Oklahoma State Trooper stopped and made sure we were OK.

While on the phone with Good Sam Emergency Roadside Assistance Bob had the idea to turn the ignition on and off a few times to hopefully achieve a reset. Since we were still on the phone we decided to give it a try and it worked because we were able to get to the KOA with no further problems.

During check-in Bob mentioned the problems we were having and as luck would have it the husband of the gal who checked us in was a mechanic at a shop that specialized in diesels and diagnosed problems for free. So we unhooked and Bob headed off to the auto shop. The mechanic put the monitor on and found no problems. We then went for about a 10 mile test drive and he monitored all the parameters and everything checked out. Since there was nothing to fix there was no charge. But we'd like to give Fatt Daddy's Auto Repair a shout out. Since it was a semi emergency they worked us in right away, were very knowledgeable and friendly. If you have problems with your truck in Claremore Oklahoma, near Tulsa, we recommend these guys. 

After that excitement we are probably just going to kick back and relax a little, catch up on laundry, generally try to recharge after being on the go so much the last two weeks. There is a Will Rogers Memorial Museum we are thinking about going to today.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, September 16, 2016

REVIEW OF PECULIAR PARK PLACE RV PARK IN PECULIAR MISSOURI

Currently in Peculiar MO (Low 64 Partly Cloudy with Rain Currently 66)
Heading to Claremore OK (Currently 70 Cloudy with Storms High 84) 

Although we have stayed a few times at this park this was one of the few times we have been in one of the pull thru sites. Since it is very likely that most visitors would probably end up with one of these sites we thought it would be a good idea to review the park from this perspective. 

Conveniently located right next to Interstate 49 south of the Kansas City area it is probably the best park in the area, especially for longer stays. The downside is that the road noise is fairly consistent all day long and pretty loud. Sounds strange to say but that is an upside too. It is consistent enough that you do get used to it. All the park roads and sites are gravel and it can get a little dusty if it is dry. There is good spacing between sites.

The pull thrus are long enough to stay hooked up if necessary or to park your 2nd vehicle. The hookups are convenient. Here is the Lifestyle from the front.


To the right.


To the left.


From the rear.


The view of Interstate 49.


The folks in the office are great. Having farm fresh eggs and home grown tomatoes for sale in the office was an added bonus.

We leave today for Oklahoma as we start our trek to Albuquerque for the International Balloon Fiesta.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

TRUCK UPGRADES

Currently in Peculiar MO (Low 63 Cloudy Rainy Not as Warm but Humid High 72)

We recently added a safety upgrade and a storage upgrade to our 2010 Ford F-350 DRW. The safety upgrade was the Powergate Tailgate Lock. This adds a deadbolt that operates with the remote for the power locks for the door. We haven't had any problem yet but decided to no longer take any chances.

The storage upgrade was a DU-HA underseat storage unit for the back seats in our Ford F-350 Dually SuperCab. Here is the storage unit empty.



We were able to get a surprising amount including our grocery recycling bags, the jack and its hardware, and other stuff.



With the seats down you can't even tell that there is stuff there. So maybe this is both a storage and safety upgrade because if would be thieves can't see what's there they are less likely to break-in. 



A couple of upgrades that were needed, besides it has been awhile since we've done anything to the truck and Bob was afraid he might have to turn in his man card :-)

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, September 12, 2016

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US

Currently in Peculiar MO (Low 59 Mostly Sunny and Humid High 83) 

September 10th marked the 7th anniversary of our first night sleeping in our RV. Except for some time spent in a hotel while getting some work done we have spent every night in one of the two RVs we have owned. 

Here are some of our favorite pictures from the last year of fulltiming.














It has been an amazing journey, one we hope to continue for a long time.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo